This is one of two “jump cars” used while filming the movie The Fast & Furious 5, and it’s one of just three of the Corvette Grand Sport Replicas to survive filming – the others were wrecked or otherwise destroyed.
As a jump car it was never going to be possible to use one of the front-engined Corvette Grand Sport Replicas due to the significant front weight bias. Instead this vehicle was developed by Mongoose Motorsports with a rear-mounted VW engine in a custom spaceframe chassis.
Fast Facts – A “Jump Car” From Fast Five
- The Film “Fast Five” famously features a Corvette Grand Sport, or at least a replica of one. It’s one of the most memorable vehicles used in the film and for many younger viewers it was their first time ever seeing the legendary American muscle car.
- The original Corvette Grand Sports were developed by the father of the Corvette, Zora Arkus-Duntov, and a small engineering team at Chevrolet in the early 1960s to take on the new Shelby Cobras.
- The Corvette Grand Sport replica you see here has a custom tubular steel chassis designed and fabricated by Mongoose Motorsports. It’s powered by a rear-mounted VW engine for optimal weight distribution for jumping.
- This is one of two jump cars built for Universal Pictures and one of just three Corvette Grand Sport replicas to survive filming.
The Fast & Furious 5
The Fast & Furious 5, also known as Fast Five, was released in 2011 as the fifth installment of The Fast & Furious film franchise – one of the most successful action movie franchises of the modern age.
Above Video: This is the clip from Fast Five that features the Grand Sport, after watching it it becomes clear why only three cars survived filming.
The film stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Gal Gadot, Dwayne Johnson, and Joaquim de Almeida. Unlike the earlier films in the series, Fast Five was written as a heist film with an emphasis on cars, rather than a film dedicated to street racing and car culture.
Fast Five would become the highest grossing film in the series up until that point, clearing over $625 million USD worldwide, and it all but ensured that more films would be made.
The Corvette Grand Sport
The Corvette Grand Sport was developed by an engineering team led by the father of the Corvette, Zora Arkus-Duntov, in the early 1960s. Over 100 examples were originally planned in order to homologate the car with a view to racing it at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Arkus-Duntov and his team threw everything they had at the Grand Sport, the model was named after a quote from Arkus-Duntov after the release of the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, a car he said he “would be proud to drive alongside the grand sports cars of Europe.”
The 1963 Corvette Z06 was fitted with Chevrolet’s fuel-injected 327 cubic inch V8 producing 360 bhp, power was sent back through a 4-speed gearbox and a positraction rear-end to the rear wheels. The cars were fitted with a prodigious 36 gallon fuel tank for endurance racing, and they were fitted with heavy duty suspension and power assisted drums brakes with fins for cooling.
The Corvette Grand Sport was built directly on the advances made for the 1963 Z06 Corvette, with small number of changes, the most significant of which was the addition of the aluminum block 377 cubic inch V8 capable over 550 bhp.
Sadly the executives at Chevrolet would axe the Grand Sport program due to the AMA racing ban, much to Zora Arkus-Duntov’s disgust, but the five completed cars would still find their way into the hands of some of the most important racing drivers of the day including Roger Penske, A.J. Foyt, Jim Hall, and Dick Thompson.
The Grand Sports would prove their mettle racing against the Shelby Cobras in the 1963 Nassau Trophy Race, beating all of them and finishing third behind the prototypes. They returned a year later with Roger Penske in the driver’s seat and won the 1964 Nassau Trophy Race – it would be Grand Sport’s final showing at a major race.
The Fast Five Jump Car Shown Here
Although it looks somewhat close to a Corvette Grand Sport this car is actually only approximately 10 years old. It was built by the team over at Mongoose Motorsports run by Gary Krause out of their facilities in Ravenna, Ohio.
This car was built specifically for jumping, and so a heavy front-mounted V8 was a no-go. Instead of this, the team at Mongoose developed a tubular steel chassis that accommodates an air-cooled VW engine mounted in the rear – this shifts the weight back and helps ensure the car isn’t nose heavy.
Power is sent to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission, and it rides on suitably heavy duty coilover suspension, with disc brakes on all four corners. As one of just three surviving cars from Fast Five it’ll be interesting to see what it sells for when it rolls across the auction block.
This car is now due to be auctioned by Mecum in January, if you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.
Images courtesy of Mecum
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